How to Relieve Vertigo
Have you ever felt like the room was spinning even if you weren’t moving? That’s vertigo. It happens when your brain tells your body that it’s off-balance when it isn’t. Frequent vertigo is a symptom of an underlying condition with the most common being benign positional paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV). This vestibular disorder occurs when deposits enter the semicircular canals in the inner ear. It’s not life-threatening, however it can cause extreme discomfort and even falls. Stroke, head and neck injuries, vestibular neuritis and Meniere’s disease can also trigger a whirling sensation or loss of balance. If you’re experiencing vertigo, there are a number of remedies you can try to relieve it.
1) Take Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb that offers many health benefits. A recent study by the International Journal of Otolaryngology found the popular supplement to be just as effective as prescription medication betahistine when treating vertigo. The herb alleviates dizziness by increasing blood flow to the brain and comes in liquid or capsule form. Consult your doctor before taking ginkgo biloba.
2) Drink Ginger Tea and Enough Water
Some people find drinking ginger tea can help with the effects of vertigo. To make ginger tea, simply steep ginger root in boiling water for a few minutes. Feel free to add honey if you’re not a fan of the bitter taste.
Remember to drink between 8 to 12 cups of liquid daily as well. Dehydration, even mild dehydration, can trigger vertigo so it’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day.
3) Try Aromatherapy
Essential oils can’t cure vertigo, but they can ease symptoms associated with it like nausea and vomiting. Peppermint, ginger, lavender and lemon are the most popular types of essential oils for relieving symptoms. You can inhale them through an infuser or dilute them in a carrier oil before applying it on your skin.
4) See a Physiotherapist
In Canada, it’s estimated up to 35% of adults aged 40 and older experience a vestibular problem at some point during their life. Many of these people are not referred to a physiotherapist, which is unfortunate as research has shown physiotherapy to be effective for treating vestibular issues such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular migraine and vestibular neuritis, a viral infection of the inner ear.
Physiotherapists can diagnose BPPV, the most common type of vestibular disorder, by doing a simple clinical test and can help patients overcome symptoms using:
- Habituation exercises: Patients perform specific movements which cause light dizzy spells. The exercises increase in intensity over time so the body can build up a tolerance towards vertigo symptoms.
- Balance exercises: The goals of these exercises are to strengthen the vestibular balance system and to help patients gain confidence when walking or performing tasks while standing.
- Gaze stabilization exercises: These exercises improve focus and are designed for patients who have trouble controlling their eyes, especially when their heads are in motion.
- Repositioning techniques: BPPV is treated with repositioning techniques like the Epley manoeuvre. Physiotherapists can teach patients the manoeuvre so they can perform it on their own when a vertigo attack occurs.
Are you experiencing unexplained dizziness or vertigo that isn’t going away? If you are, we encourage you to come in for a FREE Discovery Visit. This no-obligation session gives you the chance to discuss your heath concerns and get your questions answered by one of our physiotherapists. Our team can also identify vestibular issues and even diagnose BPPV with a quick clinical test. If a vestibular disorder is found, treatment options and a personalized care plan will be presented before you leave our clinic.